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State of the Dodgers Minor League System - Catcher

How does Matt Wallach rank in the Dodger system's catching ranks?
How does Matt Wallach rank in the Dodger system's catching ranks?

It's time for the annual State of the Minor League System, which is where I do an analysis of the Dodgers system at the midway point of the season. Over the next two weeks, I will be providing a position by position breakdown for the Dodger minor leaguers. Just like last year, this analysis will serve two purposes. First, it will take a look at the Dodgers minor league system at each position and show the depth and talent at each. Second, it will provide a re-ranking of the players within each position. I only like to do an overall system ranking once a year, so this will simply show the rankings within each position. I will also provide the preseason rank that I gave to each player within the position (Pre Pos.), and their pre-season overall rank (Pre Overall). You'll notice that some players have an N/A next to their preseason rank. That is because the player is new to the Dodgers or new to the position since my preseason ranking. Like my pre-season rankings, I will only include guys who are under 28 years of age.

I am including the players that were drafted in the 2011 draft and have already signed with the Dodgers. I know that it is difficult to evaluate such prospects so early into their Dodger career, but I am going to do my best and basically give them a preliminary ranking. I will also be providing how each player was acquired, their age, height, weight, and current level. Players who have been released or are no longer in the organization are also included at the bottom of the chart.

Also, I have ranked each player at is the position that I believe is best long term position for the player. It may not be the players current primary position, but it is where I believe each player will ultimately end up should they make the major leagues. The same holds true for pitchers. If I believe a pitcher is best suited as a reliever, then that I where I put them. Finally, please feel free to leave comments, debate my rankings or challenge the positions that I have the players at. Enjoy.

Pre Overall Pre Pos. Current Name How Acquired Age Ht Wt Bats Level
N/A N/A 1 Pratt Maynard 2011, 3rd 21.66 6' 0" 215 L Pio Rook
62 3 2 Gorman Erickson 2006, 15th 23.35 6' 4" 220 S AA
56 2 3 Jeremy Wise 2009, 5th 25.13 6' 0" 210 R HiA
65 4 4 Matthew Wallach 2007, 22nd 25.41 6' 1" 205 L AA
68 5 5 Michael Pericht 2009, 16th 23.15 6' 5" 235 R LoA
78 6 6 Steve Domecus 2010, 9th 24.05 6' 3" 220 R LoA
137 9 7 Andrew Edge 2010, 24th 23.55 6' 2" 230 R Pio Rook
84 7 8 Jan Vazquez 2009, 6th 20.22 5' 10" 165 S Pio Rook
N/A N/A 9 Christopher O'Brien 2011, 18th 21.98 6' 0" 219 S Arz Rook
157 13 10 Jose Capellan Signed 2009 20.77 6' 0" 190 R Arz Rook
153 11 11 BJ Larosa 2010, 23rd 23.22 6' 2" 200 R HiA
156 12 12 Josmar Cordero Signed 2010 19.85 5' 10" 175 R DSL
148 10 13 Jessie Mier 2007, 12th 26.37 6' 1" 215 R AA
N/A N/A 14 Gianison Rosa Signed March 2011 21.74 6' 0" 205 L Arz Rook
N/A N/A 15 Jonathan Linares Signed 2011 18.22 6' 0" 160 R DSL
187 19 16 Steve Cilladi 2009, 33rd 24.34 5' 9" 182 R LoA
N/A N/A 17 JJ Ethel 2011, 49th 22.15 6' 2" 180 R Arz Rook
174 17 18 Keyter Collado Signed 5/27/04 25.11 5' 11" 178 R LoA
179 18 19 Webster Rivas Signed 2010 20.94 6' 0" 195 R DSL
N/A N/A 20 Jose Moreno Signed 10/26/10 21.05 6' 0" 187 R DSL
195 22 21 Angelo Ponte Signed 6/15/10 24.59 5' 11" 215 R Pio Rook
192 20 22 Gabriel Gutierrez Signed 2002 27.65 5' 11" 190 R On Loan
131 8 N/A Alex Garabedian 2007, 8th 25.89 6' 2" 210 R Released
163 14 N/A Pedro Tavarez Signed 3/12/07 24.05 6' 0" 198 R Released
169 15 N/A Joseph Lincoln 2010, 34th 22.83 6' 4" 210 R Released
170 16 N/A Carlos Mercedes Signed 2009 19.98 6' 2" 190 R Released
194 21 N/A Railing Feliz Signed 2010 20.00 5' 11" 184 R Released
198 23 N/A Jose Lugo Signed 2009 21.08 6' 1" 200 R Released
199 24 N/A Frank De Jesus Signed 2010 23.12 6' 1" 192 S Released

I had Tony Delmonico rated as the Dodgers best catching prospect heading into the 2011 season, but a position change for Tony has somewhat weakened the future of this position. The signing of 2011 3rd round pick Pratt Maynard and the emergence of Griff Erickson has helped some, but even still the catching position is relatively weak for the Dodgers. That being said, there is a decent amount of depth at this position as the players ranked # 1 - 10 all have at least some potential as prospects.

In my opinion, the recently signed Maynard has moved into the top spot for Dodger catching prospects. He's seen limited action thus far with the Raptors and probably won't ever be a big time power threat, but he shows great disciple and at the very least will be a solid line drive hitter. 23 year old Griff Erickson has moved into the second spot with a solid season so far in 2011. After the 2009 season in Ogden a lot of people were high on Griff because he was coming off a year in which he hit .305 with a .860 OPS. However he was terrible for the Loons in 2010 (.215 average, .619 OPS), which caused his prospect status to lose some luster. Luckily the Dodgers didn't hesitate to send Erickson to the California League in 2011 because he thrived there and earned a promotion to AA. In addition, Griff is a switch hitter and appears to play decent defense, so that increases his value even more.

JT Wise started off the season pretty well and has shown good power, but recently he's been ice cold. He's also almost 2 years older than Griff which is why I have him ranked behind him. He does seem to be the next best of the bunch though because he has pop and has hit both righties and lefties this year. He'll probably never be a starter in the big leagues, but he could potentially be a big league backup.

Matt Wallach made strides at the plate in 2010 and looked like he might have what it takes to be a big league backup, but he's struggled pretty badly in his first full season in AA so he's taken a step backwards. Because his dad is with the big league club he probably has a better chance than most to make it to the show at some point, but I'm not sure if even be able to stick as a big league backup. Michael Pericht got off to a huge start in Ogden back in 2010 as he put on a impressive power display, but over the past 12 months he's only hit a handful of bombs. He's still just 23 years old, however, and you've got to love his huge frame so I'm not giving up on him yet.

The next tier of catching prospects starts with Steven Domecus even though he is a little old for LoA and has been injured for a good part of the season. He's got a solid frame and has always been a good hitter, and in his limited playing time has put up good numbers in 2011. Andrew Edge has opened some eyes this year since he is leading Ogden with 6 homers and has an OPS over 1.000, and he actually put up good numbers last year as well. Jan Vazquez is a switch hitting catcher from Puerto Rico who was drafted pretty high (6th round) in 2009, and although he is still just 20 years old he hasn't really done anything as a professional. Chris O'Brien had a breakout junior season at Wichita State in 2011, but it's yet to be determined how he'll perform with wood bats in the professional ranks. Jose Capellan rounds out this next tier of catching prospects, and it is somewhat surprising that he is playing in the Arizona Rookie League this year. He put up good stats in the DSL in 2010, but only appeared in 16 games. He's again hitting pretty well in limited action thus far in 2011.

Finally, the Dodgers have yet to sign 2011 9th round pick Tyler Ogle, but once he inks a deal (which he probably will) he'll probably rank in the 3 to 7 range.